Additive manufacturing (often called 3D printing or 3DP) has been attracting attention for decades, but it is now firmly in the C-suite spotlight. Increasing numbers of new vendors and the evolution of the existing sub-technologies, and the development of new ones has elevated additive manufacturing from being a technology earmarked for prototyping to one that is increasingly production-ready.
Using 3D printing for prototyping yields benefits, but the real breakthrough comes when companies apply additive manufacturing for functional parts. When it comes to industry penetration, Life Sciences lead the way worldwide and Costa Rica is no exception. The increasing maturity of additive manufacturing technologies has enhanced the sector with spin-offs such as state-of-the-art implants, women healthcare and other personalized medical devices including neuromodulation or medication delivery systems which offer a clear competitive advantage.
3D printing jumpstarts opportunities for rapid prototyping, mass customization, on-demand production and long-tail support.
by 2025 (Markets and Markets, 2021)
Among life sciences companies in Costa Rica (Vital Statistics Survey, CINDE, 2019)
Among manufacturing companies in Costa Rica (Vital Statistics Survey, CINDE, 2019)
in LATAM (WIPO, 2021)
Costa Rica ranks in Latin America (WEF, 2019)
Akamai Costa Rica is home to the company’s 1st Innovation Lab globally which is called Danny’s Lab, complementing the on-site space is a new mobile classroom that brings a teaching environment to remote communities. The Labs include 3D printing equipment, that made it possible for the company to produce facial protectors and surgical visors for the health personnel in the country, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Understanding the importance of taking full advantage of the newest technologies has always been part of Boston Scientific’s innovative ways. The company uses 3D printing technology primarily for production tools, fixtures and prototypes in the Costa Rican plant as part of its R&D division in the country.
Establishment Labs, the Costa Rica innovative company, seizes 3D printing technology for product prototyping and conceptualization, and, device changes.
From its Costa Rican site, Align Technologies delivers 3D design of its Invisalign to achieve the effective clinical results with cutting-edge dental options for the patients. By combining digital treatment planning and mass-customization, with shape-engineering based on biomechanical principles, the company has revolutionized the orthodontic industry.
MicroPort Scientific Corporation can trace its origin back to 1998 to a small office at ZJ Hi-Tech Park, Shanghai China where a group of dedicated individuals joined together with a common belief that advancements in medical technology could transform and enhance the patients' well-being not just in China but globally.
Through years of growth and innovation, MicroPort® has become a premier medical solution provider covering 10 major medical disciplines including interventional cardiology, orthopedics, interventional radiology, electrophysiology, diabetes and endocrine management, surgical management, and others.
In 2010, Costa Rica’s Mechanical Engineering faculty at the University of Costa Rica served as a testing lab. Here, case processing began and the company was able to proof the concept which led to the establishment of a formal operation.
The company established operations in the country that same year, as Wright Medical, the company was acquired (its lower extremities division) by MicroPort in 2014, mainly dedicated to Engineering & Design.
In Costa Rica, CAT-scans and MRI scans are received and revised using top-line software which specializes in medical images transformation.
Images are processed, aligned and converted into a 3D model. The physician’s historical surgery preferences are considered; the implant is virtually set in the model testing possibilities from Microport Orthopedics’ different total knee arthroplasty solutions to find the best match; and a cutting guide is then designed for the doctor to execute upon. The unique, patient-specific guide is created and sent to be 3D printed at MicroPort Orthopedics’ manufacturing facility in the US for final production, inspection and shipping.
With over 200 products currently approved for use in over 5,000 hospitals worldwide, MicroPort® is contributing to a better world through its life-saving medical therapies and quality-improving care devices.
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Costa Rica has the ideal conditions and human capital needed for getting the most out of the current technological convergence taking place in multiple sectors across industries, generating major investment opportunities here.EXPLORE MORE CAPABILITIES
Tailored-made solutions are designed in Costa Rica at Align, the world’s largest 3D printing operation. This operating works hand-in-hand with orthodontists around the word. Technicians in Costa Rica collaborate with them to design the right devices to produce the aligners give on-going follow up throughout the entire treatment.
Medtronic, the world’s #1 medtech company, does biomedical engineering in Costa Rica through manufacturing of components for spine implants, addressing pain management for scoliosis and restoring health.
Panduit’s Costa Rican plant has been historically a testing center for new products and technologies, it has also become a key support site for other locations during peak demands due to labour flexibility and local capabilities.
Costa Rica’s operation has grown to become the hub for the pre-op navigation guide products, handling everything from case creation to production planning, as well as interactions with Sales Representatives and physicians from the USA, Europe, Japan, South Africa, Australia and China markets. The US operation provides support with manufacturing and logistics, while Costa Rica has become the center for design and support.
We are designing and prototyping surgical viewers for personnel assisting the COVID-19health emergency. Currently, and thanks to the 3D printing equipment that we have in our Innovation Laboratory (Danny’s Lab), we print parts for the creation of these devices that are needed for health personnel and other areas.
For the past 17 years, our Costa Rica operations have helped Align’s U.S. operations develop and market the most advanced clear aligner system in the world. Our new facilities play an important part in supporting our dynamically expanding global operations by allowing us to continue to serve our Invisalign and iTero trained doctors in a fast and efficient manner.